Wednesday, December 31

December Wrap Up

First off, Merry Christmas to everyone and have a very happy New Year! I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and that it is snowing wherever you are (unlike here..... hurry up and snow already!..) As they say on weheartit, it is page 364 of 365: make the most of it. Yeah, well, I'm just gonna snuggle up by the fire with a blanket and a book and maybe a cuppa tea. Best way to end 2014 don't you think?

I got into a mad fit of blogging at the start of December and if you want to reread any, here they are:
~ November Wrap Up
~ An Abundance of Katherines review
~ Christmas Tree Cookies Recipe
~ My Favourites = Music
~ Reading
~ My Christmas Wish List

Then as a year, here are the main highlights:

  • Did the Leaving Cert in June (final exams) and spent the previous months attempting to study but wasn't fooling anyone.
  • Turned 18 (age is just a number baby)
  • Started this blog! YAY! And said goodbye to the old one (he who must be named...shudder..)
  • Went to Paris. "Adventure is out there!"
  • Started College
  • In which case I had to talk to new people (stranger danger!)  and try to make friends (not my forte)
  • Got a scholarship - and now I have an internship as a software developer over the summer. If you know what that means PLEASE TELL ME!!!!
  • Got an email from JD Brewer asking me to review her book Intrepid (review very soon)
  • Won two giveaways on the same day from the lovely Sunny and Michelle
  • Surviving the year despite a lot of setbacks and difficulties.
I did do a lot more reading of other blogs this month and enjoyed some very good posts. But because I am lazy blogger and have no intention of pretending otherwise I'm just going to link the blogs I enjoyed without having to find the posts.

Happy New Year Bloggers!!!
All the best for 2015
Marian  ^_^

Sunday, December 14

My Christmas Wish List


1. Ukulele - It's just such a cool instrument. It sounds fantastic and is really easy to carry around. I love to learn new instruments so this is next on my list.

2. Candles - I have a recent obsession with candles. I like to have them burning when I'm studying, reading or even blogging. ( yes there is one lighting right now )

3. iPod Touch - I currently have the tiny iPod nano.  I think it's time to upgrade and also it's time I started using apps.

4. Notebooks - One of my favourite things to buy in the world. I could spend hours browsing through pretty vintage notebooks. Of course when I buy them I hate writing in them because I don't want to ruin them

5. Round Glasses - Actually I do have sunglasses like these but I'm looking for a pair with a small rim.

6. Extra long Socks - I like socks and my feet get cold. (preferably in brown/burgindy/green) And they also look great in outfits.

7. Typewriter - Does this really need explaining?

8. Skateboard - I can't skate or rollarblade and this seems like the safer of the two options. And i want to be one of those people that cruises through college on a skateboard.

9. Bookends - You have no idea how badly I need these!


1. The Great Gatsby ~ F. Scott Fitzgerald } I saw this film and was just blown away but it. The colours, the characters, the story and of course the parties. The ambience was spectacular.

2. The Handmaid's Tale ~ Margaret Atwood } I read an excellent review on Ruby's blog (here) and have wanted to read it ever since. The story sounds quite unique and highly endearing.

3. The 13 and a half lives of Captain Bluebear ~ Walter Moers } This was recommended to me by my friend Thomas (blogs are here and here) so I have no idea why else I want to read t.

4. Intrepid ~ J.D Brewer } I saw this book just a few days ago on goodreads and then added it to my tbr list. BUT THEN: I got an email from the author asking me if I would like to review it so obviously I did a little hyperventilation dance around my room and replied yes.

5. She is Not Invisible ~ Marcus Sedgwick } I read Midwinterblood and loved how it was written despite being very creepy.

6. Taipei ~ Tao Lin } Another recommendation from Thomas.

7. Anna and the French Kiss ~ Stephanie Perkins } I have read so many reviews and I think it is about time I stooped to peer pressure and read it.

8. Department 19 ~ Will Hill } Saw this book on Emily's blog (here) and she highly recommended it.

9. The Isobel Journal ~ Isobel Harrop } I read a fabulous review on Hawwa's blog (here) and was fascinated with it as I have never read such as visual book.

10. Landline ~ Rainbow Rowell } I've read Fangirl and Eleanor & Park but even though I wasn't a huge fan of E&P I loved Fangirl. I've read reviews here and

11. We were Liars ~ E. Lockhart } This book seems to be everywhere. Here
12. Wreck this Journal } one of my top most wanted books ever. I've read so much about it and stared at it longingly for a creepily long time in a book shop. (review here)

13. The year of the Rat ~ Grace Lin} I loved Hawwa's review here

14. The Jewel ~ Amy Ewing } I loved Holly's review here.

15. Anne of Green Gables ~ Lucy Maud Montgomery } I have read a LOT of hype particularly from Emily, here.

16. Shiver ~ Maggie Stiefvater } started following her on twitter, looked up her books, recognised shiver and now it is here.


1. Star Wars { The people in my course tend to be very ... nerdy. So in an attempt to "fit in" I think i should watch this. (And I also secretly have wanted to for years!)
2. Breakfast at Tiffany's { It's a classic and I have never seen it.
3. Pretty Woman { I just loved this film!!!
4. The Amazing Spider-Man { Again; LOVE! (Andrew Garfield: MARRY ME?)
5. The Lord of the Rings { Another attempt to be more this type of nerd.



1. The Coronas - The Long Way
2. Hozier - Hozier
3. Hudson Taylor - (not really an album...yet)
4. Delorentos - Night becomes Light

What do you think of my rather long list? Have you read any of the books?
Seen any of the films? What's on your list?
Happy Christmas!
Marian  ^_^

Tuesday, December 9

Reading

If there’s one thing us bloggers seem to have in common (aside from blogging, of course) is our love of reading. There are probably millions of fellow bloggers out there whose sole topic for their blogs are books. Not just even bloggers. Ordinary people who do not feel the need to share their bookish passion also take pleasure in these simple treasures. After all, what is a book anyway? A mere bundle of pages with some meaningless letters wedged together? But it creates this wonderful, imaginative, terrible, adventurous and possibly dangerous tale that can make two complete opposites the best of friends from a little fangirling.



Why do we read? Is it an “escape” as so many people like to call it? Well, I like to think not. I don’t want reading to be a thing that keeps me from reality. (In fact I’d prefer some books to be my reality - Hogwarts, anyone? - but that’s not my point…). I want books to be part of my everyday life. I like to be able to share these marvellous gifts with friends, neighbours and even random people in cafes. They are a way of experiencing new things from the comfort of my own home. Reading is a hobby that brings joy, comfort and friends ( just because they are fictional does not mean I can’t call them my friends, OKAY!). It allows my imagination to grow and lets me learn new rings. It often shapes my perspective and enlightens me with new ideas. But best of all, it makes me happy.



For most people reading was introduced as a way of improving their English and skills for school... or else your parents just wanted you to shut up and go to sleep. For me it was definitely the latter. Instead of books my parents read me poems. Nothing special. No Robert Frost or W.B. Yeats. Just your ol’ nursery rhymes etc. Then finally we began “bigger books”. My favourite had to be Alice in Wonderland. It had jigsaws where the pictures should be and such an imaginative magical story that filled my head with all sorts of wonder. 

The variety in books today means that no matter who you are there is probably some book out there that you will enjoy. Genres from classic to fantasy, crime to dystopian, romance to thriller and Children, YA and Adult.


Because of books, friendships, communities and fan clubs have formed. There are so many bookbloggers in the world that I've probably only read a tiny tiny percentage of them. My favourite range from having 300+ followers to a humble 10 followers. But that amount doesn't matter, it is their content and obvious passion that draws me to their blogs. A great book blogger for me, shares their honest opinions, writes truthful reviews and captures the essence of that book. I love it when a post makes me feel inspired or excited to read a new book and I'll often comment and then come back later to see a reply. Books can create an engaging bond between two strangers. It is these blogs that I trust and come to for new books to read. I'd go through some of their old reviews to see which ones might interest me.
Here's a photo I made while I was experimenting with HTML: so click anywhere in the picture to bring you to a random book blog....


So what's your story with books? Do you remember the first one you read? Or was there a recent one you think other's would enjoy? Any favourite bookbloggers you think deserve a mention?
Happy Reading!
Marian  ^_^

Saturday, December 6

My Favourites #1

Hey! Here's a new "feature" (if that's what you want to call it) where I will share with you  a list of my favourite things. Today's topic is songs! And who doesn't like music?!
So a couple of months ago I shared one of my playlists but today I am going to show you my favourite songs right this minute. Like (nearly) every other person in the world, I enjoy listening to music and of course I have my own specific taste. I like interesting sounds that have a great rhythm. If you make me listen to Rhianna or Lady Gaga I will telepathically stab you. I have no interest in that very "pop" sound that infests radios. Acoustic guitar any day.

1. Alt J ~ Breezeblocks

2. Asgeir ~ King and Cross

3. Hudson Taylor ~ Chasing Rubies

4. Delorentos ~ Secret

5. Mumford & Sons ~ Little Lion Man

6. Vance Joy ~ Riptide

7. Twenty One Pilots ~ House of Gold

8. CHVRCHES ~ The Mother we Share

9. Little Green Cars ~ Harper Lee

10. Phoenix ~ Girlfriend

11. Two Door Cinema Club ~ What you know

Have you heard of any of these? Tell me a few of your favourite songs!
Also some of these songs were introduced to be my Emily, July and Thomas.
Happy Christmas.
Marian  ^_^

Thursday, December 4

Christmas Tree Cookies


IT'S CHRISTMAS!!
And, what does that mean....?  It's time for some very festive baking. So what's more festive than some cookies in the shape of Christmas trees?! I made your basic dough and rolled it out and then cut a whole pile of stars in different sizes. When they cooled I stuck them together in a tiered shape with some icing.
I also cut a few snowmen shaped cookies as well as Christmas trees with cookie cutters but they were all gone before I could take a photo (.. I'll take that as a good sign :L  )


Ingredients:
250g plain flour
250g butter
125g caster sugar
2 egg yolks
2 tspn vanilla extract

Method:
1. Rub flour and butter together until like breadcrumbs.
2. Add the sugar, eggs and vanilla and mix to smooth dough.
3. Refrigerate for at least 30 mins.
4. Roll out the dough and go crazy.
5. Bake your masterpieces in an oven @ 180*C for about 10 minutes.

And that's that. Is there anything special you like to bake at this time of year?

Happy Christmas.
Marian ^_^

Tuesday, December 2

An Abundance of Katherines

As the final John Green book I had left to read, I was trying to prolong this book as long as possible. It waited a total of 8 months and 12 days on my book shelf. Now that it's all over, that I have no more John Green books left, all I can think is "-what now?".  It's kind of an end of an era. Similar to how I felt after Harry Potter ( but not nearly as drastic ) . John Green is definitely one of my favourite authors. It's not like he wrote one great book, he wrote a number of varying degrees of greatness. So I look forward to a next instalment, whenever that may be.

19 Katherines and counting...
When it comes to relationship, Colin Singleton's type is girls named Katherine. And when it comes to girls name Katherine, Colin is always getting dumped. Nineteen times, to be exact. On a road trip miles from home, this anagram-happy, washed-up child prodigy has ten thousand dollars in his pocket, a blood-thirsty feral hog on his trail, and an overweight Judge Judy-Loving best friend riding shotgun - but no Katherines. Colin is on a mission to prove The Theorem of Underlying Katherines Predictability, which he hopes will predict the future of any relationship, avenge Dumpees everywhere, and finally win him the right girl.



The Story:
It is basically about how two boys go on a road trip to clear their heads and end up staying in the first place they visit. As a big fan of Road trips, adventures and all the jazz, I was instantly drawn to this book. I love the idea of bring free, getting lost, not knowing where the next road will take you. It's sort of exile rating. But, to my dismay,  this book doesn't revolve around my idealistic road trip. There is an actual story behind it. And a good one too for that matter. Colin embarks on a journey which helps him, I think, discover himself and what is really important. There's all this nonsense about being a prodigy that really i didn't get. I just don't believe in "prodigies" or whatever he was on about. Everyone has a brain and individually we all use that brain differently. For Colin, one way he (impressively) uses his brain is by anagramming. He's a very intelligent fellow, and decides to make a formula that shows how a relationship progresses. Throughout the book there were all these side notes with a whole bunch of information that I found fascinating. Big thumbs up for that! I also loved how the book was written. As with any john Green book there is a distinct flow to the sentences that makes you go "-that has to be John Green...!" He has a witty way of telling stories with gripping story lines, fascinating learnings and some of the most wonderful characters. The only other problem I had with Katherines was the ending. It was just so predictable. But there was a sense of revelation and conclusion.



The Characters:
My favourite character has to be Hassan. He is Colin's best friend who accompanies him on this road trip. He's just genuinely a wonderful character that I would love to be friends with in real life.



The Cover:
I love nearly all of John Green's book covers. They all share this bold colour scheme with sharp lines. This cover really stands out because of the red. I like the light bulb image because of the whole idea of "Eureka" ( I thought it was very clever ). And how the letters in the background all form Katherine, just like an anagram.... dun dun dun!



Movie?
An Abundance of Katherines was optioned by a small production company that in the end couldn’t get a movie together; they're now working with a different production company with the hopes of setting it up somewhere, but that’s a long way off.
Anyway, for Colin Singleton I would pick Nick Robinson. And for Lindsey, I'm not entirely sure, but for some strange reason I can see Elizabeth Gillies as her, but I feel like she should have blond hair...


Favourite Quotes
“He liked the mere act of reading, the magic of turning scratches on a page into words inside his head.” 

"How do you just stop being terrified of getting left behind and ending up by yourself forever and not meaning anything to the world?”


 ★ ★ ★ ★
Eureka!
Marian  ^_^

Monday, December 1

November (+October) Wrap Up

Hello people of the world. Nice to see you all again. November was kind of non existent for me on blogger. The emphasis should be on the no of NOvember. Yeah, I'm hilarious... haw haw.
Anyhoo, as I didn't get around to doing a wrap up for October, I thought I'd bundle the two months into one. After all in November I only did one post. One pathetic measly post. Tut tut Marian. So this month (as in Decmeber ) I am going to pack this blog with so many posts that you will be sick of me. You better watch out (.. You better not cry...♫ ♫ - oh great, now that song is stuck in my head ).



So those are the 5 FANASTIC posts I did over the past 2 months.  You're welcome.

Because I was a useless blogger I didn't read many other blogs so I have no favourite posts from other bloggers to tell you about. 

On a totally different note; are any of ye on ello? If so, wanna follow me? Or would anyone like an invite?

HAPPY CHRISTMAS!!!
Marian ^_^